REVIEW: Frightened Rabbit + Lanterns on the Lake @ The Institute, Mon 11th Nov


 Words by Heather Judge

I didn’t see the support act, Paul Thomas Saunders, due to a queue to enter the room and eating squid with my sister. But I could hear him clearly as all the doors were open; it sounded like wailing, and there was nothing that made me want to leave my squid.

Lanterns on the Lake, however, I did get in to see; an odd mix, with a front woman – Hazel Wilde, who could be Lana Del Rey and Taylor Momsen’s long lost sister. And although Lantern on the Lake’s music comes from pure unadulterated talent, the band itself had no real stage presence. I’m not entirely sure they noticed their 150 spectators.

But the Geordie five piece were beautiful to listen to, especially with their original use of bells and violins, just sadly a little boring to watch.

Lanterns on the Lake - Cosby Stage - Sunday | Photo by Gaëlle B

After a half hour intermission, Frightened Rabbit (or Frabbits, as they’re known by their fans) finally graced the stage; the Scottish Rock all boy band entering as the epitome of Indie, with their plaid shirts, skinny jeans and converse trainers.

Frightened Rabbit consists of brothers Scott and Grant Hutchinson – on vocals and guitar respectively, Andy Monaghan and Gordan Skene – who both had a guitar in hand whilst taking turns to play the keyboard, and Billy Kennedy – on bass.

Their first track, ‘Holy’, didn’t have that electric spark generally expected for the opening song at a live gig, yet the crowd were enticed; like a snake to its charmer.

And throughout Frightened Rabbit’s set I couldn’t help but continue to crowd watch, with the audience seemingly entranced by the activity on stage. Perhaps so much so they forgot how to dance; even with more people ‘jigging’ than to Lanterns on the Lake it still seemed a little unenthusiastic.

Although Mr Hutchinson (the lead singer not the guitarist brother) did have a good sense of comedy, telling the crowd “This has to be the most slippery stage I’ve ever been on” before teasing them with a promise of Moonwalking. A promise he kept.

There isn’t really much for me to say about Frightened Rabbit, except that they weren’t my cup of tea (how British…). Even their most sung along song, ‘State Hospital’, seemed controversial to me; with lyrics such as ‘all thighs, hair and magpie handbags, Saturday’s uniform for the fuck me’parade’ and ‘but if blood is thicker than concrete’.

But I guess I was alone, in a room that seemed fervently following every antic on stage. But honestly, it was Frightened Rabbit’s loyal following that kept me most intrigued.

For more on Lanterns on the Lake, visit

For more on Frightened Rabbit, visit


For more form Birmingham Promoters, visit